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One on One
Every child wants to spend time with his/her father.
This is important if you have multiple kids. As they start to get older, you’ll want to dedicate some one-on-one time for each of them, and keep to some sort of regular schedule. It can be weekly or monthly, but you don’t want to spread it out further than monthly.
For me, each week, I take one of my kids to lunch. They get to choose the place. Inevitably, this means I end up eating at Culver’s a lot, but enjoy it and each of my children looks forward to it. For us, lunch makes the most sense and is the easiest to implement. There is almost no friction to it.
But it can be anything. Maybe it’s just taking them for ice cream. Maybe they like shooting some basketball. Maybe they like to go shopping or see a movie. If you’re having trouble coming up with something, don’t overthink it.
Don’t get paralyzed trying to think of the perfect experience. It’s likely they won’t remember specific instances anyway. Rather, you are feeding them tiny meals, and even though they won’t remember every meal they ever had, each meal nourished them and helped them grow.
Kids just want to spend time with their father. If you go for walks, grab one and take him with you. If you need to make a quick trip to the store, grab one and take him with you. If you need to rake some leaves, give them a turn with the rake. Get down on your knees and help them clean their rooms.
One-on-one time doesn’t override or replace the normal rhythms of everyday life. You still want to have dinner with your family most nights. You still want to read out loud with your kids as much as possible.
But one-on-one time with each child is important. Learn who they are. Provide time for them to talk with you without the interference of their siblings. Sometimes the quieter ones can be starved of attention, like plants in the forest smothered by the canopy, desperate for sunlight.
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